IT - Inquista Today (News)

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    Opinion: "Councillor Firoux Has Many Friends, It's Just Too Bad That None of Them Are In Inquista"

    Opinion by Lex Burnley
    August 22nd, 2019

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    The knives are out against Councillor Firoux in Inquista. Councillor Firoux's European career is certainly secure. However, is his political career in Inquista officially over?

    It seems very likely that Councillor Firoux will soon be re-elected as the Speaker of the European Council in an unopposed vote. Councillor Firoux has acted as the Speaker of the European Council since Councillor Mountain of the United Kingdom stepped down from the post in 2018. You'd be probably be forgiven if you mistakenly believed that Councillor Firoux had been Speaker of the European Council since at least 2017, or 2016, or maybe even 2015. Councillor Firoux is now by far the longest serving Councillor in European Council, first taking up the job in 2013. He's made his mark by legalizing gay marriage in the European Union, banning capital and unusual punishment, and at one point, also controversially banning the use of nuclear weapons.

    Councillor Firoux's long and established career in Europolis has made him good friends with many political insiders within Europe. This isn't surprising given the fact that Councillor Firoux is also the leader of the European Progressive Alliance - the biggest voting bloc of councillors within the European Council. Besides his fellow councillors, Councillor Firoux has established personal and professional relationships with almost every commissioner that has served during his tenure - including virtually every premier commissioner. When people claim that Councillor Firoux is 'in bed' with the premiers, sometimes it's a literal reference and not just a metaphorical one. Councillor Firoux's other European friends include a long list of monarchs, prime ministers, presidents and business elites who have showered him with praise, political support and financial donations.

    Councillor Firoux has many friends, it's just too bad that none of them are in Inquista. After all, it's the ones in Inquista that count the most if he ever planned on ever becoming Archbishop.

    Let's make no mistake: Councillor Firoux's has built his entire political career with the intent of becoming Archbishop. Even before he was an elected politician, when he still worked as an appointed ambassador of Inquista, Councillor Firoux made numerous risky decisions to criticize the Church of Inquista, including its foreign policy. Those were gutsy risks to take for someone who was a church-appointed member of the Inquistan Foreign Service. It's also what ultimately helped him become the Councillor of Inquista. From there, Councillor Firoux has seemingly used his position in Europolis to counter the current Archbishop of Inquista at every turn. When Archbishop Craticus defends the sanctity of the traditional family, Councillor Firoux quickly proposes legislation to strengthen non-traditional marriage rights, and when Archbishop Craticus moves to stop refugees from entering Inquista, you then see Councillor Firoux moving to protect the rights of those refugees. Councillor Firoux's eyes are just as laser-focused on Inquista as he is on Europe.

    When Bishop Ashton Pearson resigned as the leader of the Christian League in 2018, Councillor Firoux finally played his cards in the open. He ran for leadership of the Christian League himself, despite not being a member of the College of Bishops. It was a bitter race against Silas Kligenberg, but Councillor Firoux managed to prevail mostly unscathed. Surely, Councillor Firoux's prospects of becoming Archbishop should be better than ever?

    Wrong. Very wrong.

    In an attempt to depoliticize the Inquistan Orthodox Church, and to combat political corruption, Archbishop Craticus has dissolved Inquista's political parties and has replaced them with less structured theological blocs. Only incumbent members of the College of Bishops can lead these blocs. Councillor Firoux is not a bishop, so he will be barred from leading a theological bloc. This terrible, bad, no-good news is just the start of Councillor Firoux's problems. He has not just only lost his leadership position in Inquista, but he will also very likely have his own political base snatched away from him by other Inquistan leaders and his own supposed allies. Soon enough, Councillor Firoux might have all his political capital bled dry, with his political opponents all eager to take a stab at him.

    The knives are out. To Councillor Firoux's right, Archbishop Craticus is coalescing a broad-tent of like-minded bishops, ranging from the moderate, to the conservative, to the ultra-Orthodox, who are all united under a broad banner of religious nationalism. To Councillor Firoux's left, Bishop Lallana is building an army of progressive Orthodox bishops dedicated to liberation, social justice and ecotheology. In 2011, both of these theological blocs led by Archbishop Craticus and Bishop Lallana may have seemed like fringe entities, but both parties, as well as their leaders, have become very popular, and they are continuing to eat away at the political centre. Just before the last Inquistan ecclesiastical election in 2018, several members of the Christian League jumped party ship to join the Archbishop's Black Swan Movement and Bishop Lallana's Green Inquista. It is very likely that we will see more bishops jump ship now that the party lines have been temporarily dissolved until the new theological blocs are formed. The Archbishop and Bishop Lallana both know this, and have openly courted members of the Christian League to join their theological blocs once they have been created.

    It's not just opponents from other political stripes that are against Councillor Firoux. Silas Kligenberg has re-merged as a political threat and he plans to stab Councillor Firoux in the front, not in the back. While most members of the former Christian League have defended Councillor Firoux and have lambasted the College of Bishops for preventing him from holding his leadership position, Silas Kligenberg has openly welcomed it. In an interview with IBC News, Silas Kligenberg stated that while he does not approve of the Archbishop's justifications for political reforms, he does "welcome the opportunity to reform Inquista's political parties, including the Christian League," and that it was "time to refocus and bring new energy to Inquista's best governing group".

    Silas Kligenberg, much like the Archbishop and Bishop Lallana, has met with the former members of the Christian League, and he too is hoping to court them to his own corner. It has been reported that Silas Kligenberg hopes that one of the bishops stands down from their see, so that he can fill their seat, and take leadership of the former Christian League. Multiple members of the League previously endorsed Silas Kligenberg in his previous attempt at party leadership, and many members of the Inquistan public remain enthusiastic about his fresh and insurgent dive into politics. It wouldn't take much to imagine that one of the League bishops may stand down, and Silas Kligenberg may then ascend to anointed leadership. This is his Kligenberg destiny, after all.

    Councillor Firoux's best hope is that one of his few allies in the League (either Bishop Anja Emerett or Bishop JennaMarelle Johnson) is able to hold peace over the former Christian League, and that they are able to become the leader of the theological bloc. This ploy, however, is obvious. Both Bishop Emerett and Bishop Johnson will have their leadership scrutinized, and neither of them will be able to shake-off the notion that they're mere puppets of Councillor Firoux himself. Silas Kligenberg doesn't seem intent to let this happen anyway, and may very well prefer splitting the entire former party into two rather than compromising on the matter.

    If the former Christian League splits, then it's over for Councillor Firoux. He will have no leadership position, no political base, and likely, no political support either. His ambition to become Archbishop will be dashed. Permanently. What Councillor Firoux needs is more allies in Inquista, and he needs them now more than ever.

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    GLOWING Mikaela Kligenberg Flaunts BREATHTAKING Engagement Ring

    Article by Kathy Vickers
    October 10, 2019

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    SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE: The 34-year old (and not getting any younger) Mikaela Kligenberg has finally traded in her purity ring for an actual ring.

    Mikaela Kligenberg was photographed as she was seen entering the Grande Hotel in Saint Dominico today, where she was spotted flashing a new ring. Mikaela Kligenberg has not made any formal announcement as of yet, but inside sources, as well as today’s photograph, have confirmed that Mikaela Kligenberg is officially engaged. Close fans and followers of Mikaela Kligenberg have also noticed that she no longer wears her purity ring, which she has publicly and humiliatingly worn since she was 15-years old.

    The 34-year old Kligenberg heiress has been known to lead a rather dry, action-less and virtually non-existent love life, which has been woefully documented on her reality television series, Keeping Up With the Kligenbergs. Mikaela Kligenberg’s sudden engagement has caught many by surprise, and according to inside sources, it has even shocked some of her closest friends and family members, who were convinced that Mikaela Kligenberg would never be able to find love.

    Inside sources claim that Mikaela Kligenberg is engaged to Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez, who she met during her recent fracas in Ibiza, Spain.

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    DESPERATE: Mikaela Kligenberg has gotten engaged to Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez despite knowing him for less than 2 months.

    Mikaela Kligenberg has been seen beaming with the Captain while they have spent time out and about in Saint Dominico. Despite her apparent happiness, inside sources remain sceptical of her budding romance. Mikaela Kligenberg only met Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez less than two months ago, and many inside sources believe that the Captain is taking advantage of the Kligenberg heiress’s fame and fortune. Other inside sources claim that Mikalea Kligenberg has also become shamefully determined to get married before she reaches 40, with one insider source stating that “Mikaela would probably be willing to marry a Nicoleizian onion farmer at this point if it meant that she wouldn’t die alone.”

    Another insider source stated that "Mikaela is shocked, mortified and astonished that Queen Anastasia of Icholasen has had three husbands while she's had none. It's total jealously on Mikaela's part."

    Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez, who also goes by the moniker ‘El Capitán’, is a now-former Captain of the Spanish Legion. The Captain was apparently scouted out by Mikaela Kligenberg while he was marching in a parade during Spain’s EU anniversary celebrations. After finding and haranguing the Captain, Mikaela Kligenberg apparently then invited him to join her disastrous venture to Ibiza, which he accepted.

    It remains unclear if Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez played any role in the Ibiza catastrophe, but it has been reported that he is currently wanted by Spanish authorities. Attendees of Mikaela Kligenberg’s wild Ibiza party have claimed that the Captain proved himself to be the most talented and impressive dancer of the evening, which apparently won him a special place in Mikaela Kligenberg’s heart. The Captain subsequently fled Ibiza alongside Mikaela Kligenberg that evening, and inside sources claim that he now resides in one of Mikaela Kligenberg’s villas.

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    TALENTED: The Captain has all three B’s – brains, brawn and blazin’ speed.

    Since coming to Inquista, Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez has become a professional racing driver and dancer. The Captain has become a Formula One driver for Force Inquista-Kligenberg Motors, as well as a Inquistan Super Street Rally driver for K-Racing Point. It has also been reported that the Captain will be joining Mikaela Kligenberg as a dance coach on her new upcoming dance competition series, the Greatest Dancer.

    Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez’s sudden professional racing career and involvement in television are single-handedly attributed to Mikaela Kligenberg, who is said to have used her Kligenberg influence to land him his opportunities for Kligenberg-controlled race teams in both the Formula One and Inquistan Super Street Rally leagues. This, together with the fact that the Captain will be a dance coach alongside Mikaela Kligenberg on the Greatest Dancer, has led one insider source to refer to the Captain as “a user and abuser” of Mikaela Kligenberg’s wealth and connections. The same insider source warned that, “Mikaela has a history of showing kindness to leeches, such as with people like Prince Tommy of Icholasen, who just use up other people’s money and influence. Mikaela needs to be careful.”

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    NOBODIES: From left to right – Curtis Pritchard, Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison, Mikaela Kligenberg, Todrick Hall, Aleshia Dixon and Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez make up the cast of presenters, judges and coaches of the Greatest Dancer.

    However, some rumours have also suggested that Mikaela Kligenberg is actually using the media attention surrounding her relationship with the Captain as a means to promote her up-coming show, the Greatest Dancer. The Greatest Dancer joins Mikaela Kligenberg’s long line-up of current reality television shows, and network bosses are apparently worried that the show will underperform in reaping television ratings, in part due to a lackluster group of panelists and presenters. Network bosses are apparently hoping that increased media attention on Mikaela Kligenberg will bring in viewers, but they are also hoping that the Captain's own appearance on the show will also bring in more viewers. Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez has apparently already impressed the network bosses, with one insider source stating that the Captain possesses amazing dance moves with “ass-quaking capabilities off the Richter scale.”

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  • Commission

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    March 22, 2020 // Tensions and Protests Explode as Councillor Firoux Recalled by Archbishop Craticus

    RB: In an emergency session of the College of Bishops called early this morning, Archbishop Craticus and his Craticist Bloc have passed a super-majority motion to recall Councillor Firoux from the European Council. Councillor Firoux will remain in his position until an impending Council by-election, but he will be unable to exercise any powers invested in his office, including his ability to vote in the European Council. The opposition Reformist and Progressivist blocs have taken a united stand against this motion, and have also grilled the Archbishop on his handling of the war in Reitzmag. Bishop Anja Emerett, the leader of the Reformist Bloc, has called for state-wide protests, which have since sprung up around the country in response to Councillor Firoux’s recall. Good morning. I'm Rosemary Barker and this is Inquista Today.

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    RB: Councillor Firoux has been recalled in a super-majority motion passed in the College of Bishops early this morning. This motion was initiated during an emergency session of the College, which was called only an hour after Bishop Emerett of the Reformist Bloc and Bishop Lallana of the Progressivist Bloc took Archbishop Craticus to task on the war in Reitzmag and the Inquistan bombing of East Moreland. In the emergency session, Archbishop Craticus referred to Councillor Firoux as ‘anti-Inquistan’ and an ‘EU puppet’. Bishop Emerett has called for state-wide protests to contend the Archbishop’s recall of the Councillor. Thousands of Inquistans have since taken to the streets.

    RB: In order to catch you all up on this rapidly evolving story, I will joined by Angelo Valente, a political analyst with CBC Inquista. Angelo is reporting to us live from Saint Dominico's Square, where many of the protestors are congregating. Hello, Angelo! Great to have you delivering the latest from the scene.

    AV: Hi Rosie! I’m very happy to be speaking to you right now, especially at a time like this.

    RB: Angelo, you are there in Saint Dominico’s Square. Give us the latest. It looks like there is a lot of commotion behind you.

    AV: Yes, I am here in Saint Dominico’s Square, right on the doorstep of the Archbishop’s Palace. According to our current estimations, there are approximately 18,000 protestors here. However, more people are pouring in by the second. I wish we could show you what’s going on behind the camera, because there seems to be flood of people as far as the eye can see behind us here.

    RB: Oh wow, 18,000 already?

    AV: Yes, 18,000 already. Keep in mind, it has only been about two hours since the emergency session was called this morning, and about an hour since Bishop Emerett took to Twitter to announce the start of the protests. These protests are very fresh. Even though Bishop Emerett said she would lead the protest here in Saint Dominico’s Square herself, she encouraged Inquistans to begin protesting everywhere in Inquista. Reports are now coming in of protestors congregating in Ludovico Square, Valetta Square, City Gates Square, and dozens of other public forums. Inquistans are taking to the streets everywhere and anywhere. But yes, our current estimates believe that about 18,000 have gathered here, and it’s growing exponentially.

    RB: What is the mood like among the protestors? What have they been saying as you’ve spoken to them?

    AV: The mood is very intense at the moment. You can feel the frustration and anger in the air. Many of the protestors are chanting and shouting, as I’m sure you can hear over me. I’ve spoken to quite a few protestors, and it seems like these protests have been a long time coming. These protests are about more than just Councillor Firoux’s recall. These protestors are airing all their long time grievances, including demands for equal LGBTQ rights and further European integration. Among the sea of people here, I’m seeing many European Union flags as well as many colourful pride flags. I’m also hearing chants of ‘Comrade Becky, no surrender, four day week and a three day bender.’

    RB: That’s interesting. So this is more than just a protest against Councillor Firoux’s recall? Is it fair to say that these are also protests against Archbishop Craticus’ fundamentalist approach to Inquistan Orthodox church doctrines?

    AV: That’s absolutely a part of it. At least, that’s what I’m hearing here. Protestors here are calling for a shift in the Inquistan Orthodox Church. Many feel that the Church, particularly under the current Craticist Bloc, has shifted significantly towards a type of Church that existed just before the Inquistan Civil War. These protestors see the Church as becoming increasingly intolerant, anti-European as well as very undemocratic. Many are also very uncomfortable with Inquista’s bombing of East Moreland.

    RB: Very undemocratic? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it well within the College of Bishop’s right to recall a councillor, even if a councillorship is an elected position?

    AV: Well, it is within the College’s right. Not only is it within the college’s right, but Councillor Firoux wrote the damn bill that allowed them to do it in the first place. In Councillor Firoux’s Elected and Accountable Council Act, clause two of section four allows EU member-state governments to recall councillors through a simple-majority vote. In the case of the College of Bishops, the Craticist Bloc has a supermajority, so it was painless for them to remove him. But that’s the thing. The Archbishop has been trying to isolate and freeze Councillor Firoux out of Inquistan politics for a very long time. First, the Archbishop dissolved all political parties within the College of Bishops, then he barred Councillor Firoux from leading a theological bloc due to his councillor position, and now the Archbishop has recalled him from office. Even though these actions are all within the Archbishop’s and College’s rights, many see these political machinations as massive breaches of democratic trust.

    RB: Just to remind our international viewers, there are three ‘theological blocs’ within the College of Bishops: the Craticist Bloc, headed by Archbishop Craticus, the Reformist Bloc which is de jure headed by Bishop Emerett - although Councillor Firoux is widely seen as the de facto leader - and the Progressivist Bloc, headed by Bishop Lallana. As Angelo mentioned, these loose bloc formations were formed after political parties were dissolved in Inquista last year.

    AV: As the Archbishop attempts to hit the final nail in Councillor Firoux’s political coffin, many feel that he’s also hitting the final nail into the coffin of Inquista’s democracy. People here feel that it’s become a tyranny by the majority.

    RB: But this isn’t the end of Councillor Firoux’s political career. In fact, this might not change anything. Councillor Firoux is still technically Inquista’s councillor until the by-election.

    AV: That’s certainly true. However, he’s only nominally Inquista’s councillor. He can’t exercise any powers invested in his office, including his ability to vote. He won’t be able to access any of his office’s funds. He won’t be able to fulfill his speakership duties within the European Council. It’s also not guaranteed that he will be able to run in the upcoming by-election, which is yet to be scheduled. We will likely see the Archbishop put several hurdles before Councillor Firoux’s ability to nominate himself, and we will likely also see the by-election delayed for some time, especially with Inquista’s current involvement in Reiztmag.

    RB: How has Councillor Firoux reacted?

    AV: The Councillor has remained adamant that he will stay in office, and that he will continue to remain Speaker of the European Council. However, he will have to delegate all responsibilities to his Deputy Speaker, Marion Rousselot. The Councillor has also stated that he believes his recall is a direct retaliation against the criticisms that he has levied against the Archbishop’s alleged orders to bomb East Moreland in Reitzmag. Councillor Firoux has made some very pointed remarks towards Inquista’s own approach to Reitzmag. Let’s also not forget that the emergency session to recall the Councillor was also called less than an hour after Reformist and Progressivist bishops questioned the Archbishop on his handling of the war. The connection between the two events seems likely, or at least, that’s what the feeling is.

    RB: I mentioned at the top of the show that the Archbishop had less than pleasant words to say about the Councillor this morning. The Archbishop branded Councillor Firoux as ‘anti-Inquistan’ and an ‘EU puppet’.

    AV: That’s correct. The Archbishop said those words after reading Councillor Firoux’s statements from European Council floor aloud to the College of Bishops. Bishops of the Reformist and Progressivist blocs clapped as the Archbishop finished reading the Councillor’s statements. In his statements, the Councillor called for a peaceful end to the war in Reitzmag, immediate and urgent humanitarian assistance to the regions impacted by the war, as well as an economic reconstruction package to help rebuild East Moreland. The Archbishop and the Craticist Bloc clearly don’t see the situation in Reitzmag the same way. They clearly perceive the Councillor’s statements as a critique of Inquista and as a betrayal. The Archbishop expects the Councillor to brave a united front with the Inquistan government to the international community. Instead, Councillor Firoux has somehow created a united front among the Archbishop’s opposition.

    RB: That’s a point. The Archbishop’s opposition has historically been quite fractured. The old League, which has now become the Reformist Bloc, has no historical working relationship with the Progressivist Bloc, which was once Bishop Lallana’s old Green Inquista. They now seem to be taking a united stand together.

    AV: Exactly. Even within the Reformist Bloc, there’s division between the ultra-Europhiles who are loyal to Councillor Firoux, and then there are the ultra-business-friendly liberals loyal to Silas Kligenberg. However, even Silas Kligenberg has come out behind Councillor Firoux. In fact, I’ve heard that Silas Kligenberg is apparently soon going to be joining the protests here in the square, alongside Bishop Emerett, Bishop Lallana, and several top members of the Reformist and Progressivist blocs.

    RB: Oh wow. This situation is so complex and is moving so, so, so fast.

    AV: Things are escalating by the minute. Just as I’ve been talking to you now, my phone has been going off with alerts and I’ve noticed that people have now flooded every inch of the space here.

    RB: Thank you for reporting to us from the scene, Angelo. We really appreciate it. Again, thank you.

    AV: My pleasure, Rosie.

    RB: And thank you all for joining us this morning as we discuss the latest news from Inquista. This has been Inquista Today. Thank you.

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    April 7, 2020 // One Week After a Revolution, Inquistans Begin to Shift Focus to the Future

    RB: After a week of mourning following the shocking revelations made by the former Archbishop’s chief assistant, and the storming of the Archbishop’s Palace, Inquistans have begun to chart their way forward. El Caudillo and the now-dissolved College of Bishops have jointly agreed to hold an election for a new College on May 4th. As Councillor Edward Firoux returns to Europolis, College leaders in Inquista scramble to assemble their campaigns. Several high-ranking members of the Craticist bloc remain under investigation, while several await trial and several more have escaped overseas.

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    RB: Inquista has returned to some sense of normality this week, after El Caudillo suspended martial law and the national state of emergency last week Friday. Martial law and the national state of emergency were declared by the former Archbishop in the final moments of his reign, not long before being murdered in a public uprising which has now become known as the March Revolution. El Caudillo and his military-backed provisional government have maintained peace since the revolution, but have promised a quick transition and return to democratic and Church-led governance.

    RB: El Caudillo has now met with the College of Bishops, who were officially dissolved by the provisional government the day after the March Revolution, and they agreed upon a new ecclesiastical election on May 4th. This election will be taking place two years after the 2018 election, and marks the first time in Inquista’s modern united history that an election will be held before the end of a full term.

    RB: Councillor Edward Firoux has since returned to the European Council, where he has been fighting against a proposal by Pravoslaviyan Councillor Tupac Shakur, who has attempted to condemn Inquista’s provisional government. Councillor Shakur’s proposed condemnation also seeks to prevent a new College of Bishops from being recognized as legitimate, and instead seeks to have the now-dissolved College and Craticist Bloc remain in power.

    RB: Several members of the Craticist Bloc are currently under investigation, including Bishop Secretaries Gino Rieni and Noah Elis. They are currently suspected of being integral and active members of the Crusade Against Corruption, according to the documents leaked by former Chief Assistant to the Archbishop, Bradley Costa. Chief Bishop Secretary Lotan Woodrick, the former Archbishop’s deputy, is one of five bishops currently facing trial for their involvement in the Crusade Against Corruption. Other suspected collaborators include Bishop Secretaries Jordyn Finsch and Ronaudinho Hugh, the Bishop Secretaries of State and the Treasury, who are believed to have escaped to Angleter. Due to anti-corruption laws which were passed under former College, any and all persons who are currently under investigation, facing trial or have been convicted for any crime, are unable to stand for election as a bishop. As such, 26 of the Craticist Bloc’s remaining 185 bishops are currently barred from running in the upcoming election.

    RB: El Caudillo has called for Angleter and the international community to extradite wanted and suspected Crusaders back to Inquista. Despite surfacing and revealing much of the information, Bradley Costa, who is currently residing in Icholasen, is also wanted for his role as the second-in-command of the Crusade Against Corruption.

    RB: Virtually all incumbent bishops, who are otherwise not barred, have since declared their intention to run for re-election. Almost all Craticist bishops have since announced their intention to run as non-affiliated bishops and have distanced themselves from their theological bloc group. Many of these former Craticist bishops hope to form a new theological group should they be able to re-take their offices.

    RB: Bishop Karinn Lallana is looking to expand her circle of Progressivist Bishops. Bishop Anja Emerett, who is leader of the Reformist Bloc, and who is widely credited with starting the protests which led up to the March Revolution, is hoping to use the momentum of her protests and her current popularity to launch the Reformist Bloc to success. It is still unclear who the de facto leader of the Reformist Bloc is, however, as several high profile figureheads affiliated with the group are looking to join their ranks in the College of Bishops. Councillor Firoux has filed to run in the upcoming election, alongside Silas Kligenberg and shock-entry Mikaela Kligenberg, who have all been endorsed by the Reformist Bloc. El Caudillo and his deputy, Air Marshal Harriet Copala, have filed to also run in the upcoming election, but as non-affiliated bishops.

    RB: Following the election of the College on May 4th, the members of the ecclesiastical legislature will then elect a new Archbishop on May 15th, who will then be acclaimed to office. The electoral field is currently wide open, with many possible future Archbishop’s in the running. Most analysts predict that either a non-affiliated or a Reformist majority is likely within the College of Bishops, although no polling has been completed as of yet. Within the Reformist Bloc, Councillor Firoux, Bishop Emerett, Bishop JennaMarelle Johnson and Silas Kligenberg are all regarded as possible contender for the Archbishop’s seat. Mikaela Kligenberg, whose candidacy has shocked many, is also regarded as a possible contender, as she is seen as having channels of influence throughout the entire membership of the Reformist Bloc.

    RB: Inquista Today will be keeping you updated with the latest of 2020 Election. In order to provide you with more in-depth coverage, Inquista Today will once again host Inquista Decides – presented by yours truly - to bring you more political analysis of the ever-evolving election cycle. Please join me, Rosemary Barker, every evening as we cover the election’s latest news.

    RB: And thank you all for joining us this evening as we discuss the latest news from Inquista. This has been Inquista Today. Thank you.

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    Mikaela Kligenberg Becomes the First Female Archbishop of Inquista; Appoints Gender-Balanced Secretariat

    May 16, 2020

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    Mikaela Kligenberg has been elected as the new Archbishop of Inquista

    On May 15th, Mikaela Kligenberg was elected the 3rd Archbishop of Inquista by the College of Bishops, succeeding the late Archbishop Paul Craticus. Archbishop Kligenberg was elected in a razor-thin vote, where she received 116 votes to Bishop Edward Firoux's 114 votes in the second round of voting.

    In the first round of voting, Bishop Edward Firoux led with 108 votes, Bishop Michael Cunard received 71 votes, Bishop Silas Kligenberg received 28 votes, Bishop Karinn Lallana received 21 votes and Bishop Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez received 2 votes. In the second round, the votes behind Bishops Michael Cunard, Silas Kligenberg, Karinn Lallana and Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez rallied behind Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg, who emerged as a surprise unity candidate.

    Archbishop Kligenberg has become the first-ever female Archbishop of the Inquistan Orthodox Church. After being acclaimed as the new head of the Inquistan Orthodox Church, Archbishop Kligenberg was immediately tasked with forming a new Secretariat. Today. Archbishop Kligenberg announced 9 men and 9 women to her secretariat. While an equal amount of men and women have been appointed to the Secretariat, the Archbishop's own presence in the Secretariat as the 19th member means that it is actually slightly woman-dominated.

    Bishop Edward Firoux has been appointed Chief Secretary and will act as Archbishop Kligenberg's deputy. It is expected that Bishop Firoux will be delegated a considerate bulk of responsibilities by the Archbishop. Archbishop Kligenberg has assumed leadership of the Reformist Bloc after being elected Archbishop, and Bishop Firoux has since been appointed as deputy leader of the bloc.

    Former Reformist leader, Bishop Anja Emerett, has been appointed as Secretary of State. Bishop Silas Kligenberg, the first cousin of the Archbishop, has been made Secretary of the Treasury and Economy. Key swing-vote and personal friend of Archbishop Kligenberg, Bishop JennaMarelle Johnson, has been made Secretary of Trade and Secretary of International Development.

    Despite not being Reformists, Bishops Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez and Hariett Copala played crucial roles as swing votes which helped Archbishop Kligenberg clinch a majority vote in the second round of voting. For perhaps those reasons, Bishop Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez has been named Secretary of Defence and Peacekeeping and Secretary of Veteran Affairs, and Bishop Hariett Copala has been named Secretary of Justice and High Inquisitor of Inquista.

    Another notable addition of the new Secretariat includes Bishop Matthw Hargrave, who becomes the first-ever openly gay bishop appointed to the Secretariat. Bishop Hargrave has been made Secretary of Social Equities and Social Development, and is expected to support the Archbishop in a number of reforms concerning the status of gender and sexuality in the Inquistan Orthodox Church, including the expected legalization of gay marriage.

    Archbishop Kligenberg has also received widespread praise for the racial diversity of her secretariat, which includes 3 women and 2 men of colour, making 26% of the Secretariat visible minorities.

    The College of Bishops will begins its first legislative session on Monday, May 18th.

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    The Inquistan Orthodox Church Legalizes Gay Marriage, Bans Conversion Therapy and Passes Other LGBTQ Reforms

    May 18, 2020

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    Public celebrations of today's milestone reforms near Saint Dominico's Square

    The first legislative session of the new College of Bishops was entirely dedicated to passing several reforms concerning the rights and privileges of Inquista's sexual minorities. Most notably, a historic and landmark decision was made to amend the Fundamental Laws of Inquista in order to enshrine and safeguard the right for any two individuals to marry, regardless of their gender or sexual identities. Previously, the Fundamental Laws of Inquista only permitted marriage between a man and a woman. When Bishop Secretary Firoux, as Inquista’s Councillor, wrote and passed an amendment to the European Declaration of Human Rights which guaranteed equal marriage rights, the then College of Bishops refused to legalize gay marriage in Inquista. Upon being elected to office just days ago, Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg promised to bring Inquista and Inquistan Orthodox Church in line with the rest of the European Union on equal marriage rights.

    The College also banned the practice of conversion therapy and classified it as a form of torture, which is a punishable criminal offence. Amendments were also made to Inquista’s educational policies, which previously suggested that school counsellors should recommend students struggling with their sexuality to seek out mental health counselling or conversion therapy. Now, primary and secondary school counsellors will be required to undergo training to offer emotional support to students regarding their sexuality, and will allow students to create GSA support groups.

    Other reforms include equal adoption rights for same-sex couples, hate speech laws expanded to include gender expression, sex reassignment surgery will no longer be needed to make changes to sex markers on government forms, and MSM (men who have sex with men) will be able to freely donate blood (previously, MSM had to be sexually inactive for at least 1 year to donate blood).

    During the College session, Archbishop Kligenberg apologized to the Inquistan LGBTQ community on behalf of the Inquistan Orthodox Church, apologizing for the Church’s decision to actively fight against gay marriage in light of the amendments that were made to the EU’s UDoHR, as well for the trauma which has been inflicted by conversion therapy practices supported by the Church. Bishop Secretary Matthew Hargrave, the Secretary for Social Equities and Social Development, and Inquista’s first openly-gay Secretary Bishop, delivered an impassioned speech about the importance of today’s reforms and the impact it will have on the lives and wellbeing of Inquista’s LGBTQ community. Following the College’s legislative session and the changes that were made to the Fundamental Laws of Inquista, which took immediate effect, Secretary Bishop Hargrave became the first person to be legally married in a same-sex marriage ceremony in Inquista, when he was married to his partner on the steps of the College of Bishops by Archbishop Kligenberg herself.

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    Inquista to Decriminalize All Drugs; Re-Legalized Marijuana and Legalize Psychedelic Drugs

    June 7, 2020

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    Cannabis stores will soon be allowed to re-open in Saint Dominico

    The College of Bishops has passed legislation which shall decriminalize all drugs for personal use. Possession of drugs for personal use will no longer be a criminal offense, but will instead be considered a civil violation, and will result in a fine, mandatory community service or an option to attend a drug rehabilitation program. The Archbishop released a statement in which she has said that the Inquistan Orthodox Church recognizes that illicit drug users are vulnerable people facing issues of poverty, poor mental and physical health, as well as addiction, and should be treated as vulnerable people rather than criminals.

    The use of marijuana has also been re-legalized by the Church. Marijuana usage was briefly made legal in Inquista after it was legalized across the European Union by the European Council. That legislation was later repealed, and marijuana was again criminalized in Inquista soon after.

    Psychedelic drugs, which include certain drugs such as magic mushrooms and specific strains of LSD, have also been legalized. These psychedelic drugs, as well as marijuana, will not be considered illicit drugs, and will be allowed to be consumed for personal or medical use, or to be bought and sold at licensed stores.

    The College of Bishops will be investing ł80 million in information campaigns to educate the public on the side effects of marijuana, psychedelics and illicit drug use. ł1 billion will be invested in drug rehabilitation centres and detox centres in order to treat those facing drug addictions. An additional ł120 million will be spent in setting up safe injection site across Inquista for those facing addictions with illicit drugs. Currently, there are no safe injection sites in Inquista. The Inquistan Orthodox Church aims to open 26 safe injections sites by the end of 2020.

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    Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg Will Star in New Reality TV Show

    June 17, 2020

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    Mikaela Kligenberg: On Top of the World is set to premiere on July 2nd

    The Archbishop of Inquista, Mikaela Kligenberg, has announced that she will be starring in her own new reality TV program. The reality TV show, called Mikaela Kligenberg: On Top of the World, will follow the Archbishop as she navigates her new position, her new responsibilities, her political affairs, as well as her personal affairs.

    Archbishop Kligenberg described the series as her "most vulnerable and personal" reality TV series yet. "It's also really, like, brainy, and will make you think... 'huh?' It's very intellectually simulating," the Archbishop added. Troy Stamos, an executive producer of the show, described the show as a "trailblazing program that meets the intersection of politics and reality TV", and said that there will be a lot to take in as the Archbishop travels around Inquista and around Europe in her new political office. The theme song of the show has already been released online.

    The Archbishop is already a massive reality TV icon. Archbishop Kligenberg was the centre focus of the critically reviewed program Keeping Up with the Kligenbergs, which aired from 2009 until 2017. Keeping Up With the Kligenbergs was the most watched reality TV series in Inquista for almost its entire duration, which drew in many millions of viewers each week.

    Filming of Mikaela Kligenberg: On Top of the World began on May 18th, three days after the Archbishop was elected to her office. The first episode is set to premiere on July 2nd. The series will be airing at 9PM CET every Thursday night, and will be available only on IBC and Netflix. .

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  • Commission

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    Inquista to Establish Communist Refugee Program as Tensions Around Nicoleizian Recognition Rise

    June 18, 2020

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    The Inquistan Orthodox Church has announced the creation of a new refugee program which will offer refuge to those living under the oppression of communist governments. The refugee program, which has been named the Communist Refugee Program, guarantees 300,000 openings for citizens of Icholasen, Czech Slavia, Eastern Haane and the PRT to claim refugee status in Inquista by the end of the year. In 2021, the number of available spots will be increased to 450,000.

    This new refugee program marks a reversal of Inquista's approach toward refugees. Under Archbishop Craticus, Inquista eliminated virtually all of its refugee programs and accepted less than 2,000 refugees annually between 2013 and 2020. Currently, the Law of Ascension serves as the largest pathway toward Inquistan citizenship for foreign nationals, who would be required to convert to Inquistan Orthodoxy in the process.

    Archbishop Kligenberg touted the Communist Refugee Program as not only a great humanitarian effort, but also an economic opportunity for those living in communist countries. According to the latest economic data, Inquista not only boasts Europe's largest economy, but it is also home to Europe's highest wages and highest level of disposable income. The average disposable income per capita is almost 22 times higher in Inquista than Eastern Haane and 6 times higher than in Icholasen (before the communist coup). The Archbishop also promised that benefits and a safety net would be guaranteed to refugees that come through the Communist Refugee Program, including access to affordable housing, access to skills training programs and a job guarantee.

    A refugee job bank has already begun registering partnerships with several interested companies that would offer potential employment to refugees, one of which includes Kligenberg Industries. Bishop Secretary Silas Kligenberg stated that he believed that refugees from Icholasen, Czech Slavia, Eastern Haane and the PRT could fill labour gaps in Inquista's construction and manufacturing sectors.

    Several Nicoleizian refugees, who have taken extraordinary and dangerous journeys from Icholasen to Inquista, were also granted asylum today. These refugees escaped from Icholasen on makeshift rafts and are said to be suffering from intense amounts of stress and trauma. The Archbishop insisted that she would look into aiding efforts to establish a "freedom railroad" between Inquista and Icholasen, the latter of which has since closed its borders to emigration following the coup.

    Bishop Secretary Hariett Copala insisted that other communist countries, such Czech Slavia, Eastern Haane and the PRT, must allow legal emigration from their countries and must allow refugees to leave as per Section XII of the UDoHR, which guarantees freedom of movement. If freedom of movement is not respected, the Bishop Secretary stated that she would personally take those states to the ECoJ.

    Bishop Karinn Lallana criticized the new refugee program, instead calling for Inquista to reduce its current 3.7% unemployment rate, end homelessness and guarantee all Inquistans jobs before employing foreign workers. Bishop Lallana also criticized the program as unnecessarily "divisive" and "politically-charged". The Bishop also renewed calls for Inquista to recognize the communist government of Icholasen, and said that this refugee program has been created to further alienate the country. Surprisingly, Bishop Lallana's calls to recognize the communist government in Icholasen has been received by many welcoming ears in Inquista.

    The Traditionalist Bloc, the spiritual successor of the Craticist Bloc, has echoed Bishop Lallana's calls. Bishop Michael Cunard, the leader of the Traditionalists, agreed that Inquista should recognize the communist government, and that Inquista should not follow through with the new refugee program, believing that it would "result in the long-term erasure of Inquista's Church, state and culture."

    Several very liberal-leaning members of the Reformist Bloc have also stated their support for communist recognition. A potentially unusual ally includes Bishop Secrtary Silas Kligenberg, who said that Inquista should not close any doors to any potential business partners. "Whoever controls the economy, should control our attention," the Bishop Secretary of the Treasury and Economy told reporters. Despite these comments from her cousin, Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg affirmed her unwavering support to the Nicoleizian government in exile, and in particular, her loyalty to Queen Anastasia. Chief Bishop Secretary Edward Firoux also echoed his continued support for the government in exile.

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    Opinion: "As Montfort Resigns, He Leaves the Lingering Death of Georgina Coldwell and a Legacy of Racism to Haunt EuroVoice"

    Opinion by Lex Burnley
    June 29, 2020

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    Peter Montfort (L) has received intense criticism throughout his tenure as EuroVoice Director, particularly from IBC President Farrah Rio (R)

    EuroVoice 38 is officially in the books. After taking Europe by storm (and receiving a well-deserved 12 points from Inquista), the Nicoleizian folk group Sham Rock and their hit "Tell Me Ma" have won the latest EV contest in Neomantua, Angleter. Sham Rock's victory raises some uncertainties as to where the next contest will be hosted, and whether countries will protest the contest should the event be held in communist-controlled Icholasen.

    These questions, as well as Sham Rock's victory, were quickly overshadowed by an abrupt announcement made by by EV Director Peter Montfort, who announced his resignation. His resignation announcement was then interrupted by conspiracy theorist and former European Council Speaker, John Oliver, who lambasted Inquista and Icholasen in a deranged and nonsensical speech. Oliver also continued to espouse the conspiracy theory that Georgina Coldwell was alive, and that she was in the audience.

    It is neither unsurprising to see Montfort's run as EV Director end with controversy, nor it is unsurprising that it has ended with such a shameful display. This latest EV didn't need to end in a mess, but it did. This EV ended just how Montfort's EV directorship has continuously unfolded: as a mess. As Montfort resigns, he leaves the lingering death of Georgina Coldwell and a legacy of racism to haunt EuroVoice.

    Georgina Coldwell was a young Inquistan girl in the audience of the EuroVoice contest that was hosted in Aachen, Aalen. Coldwell was unfortunately killed in a stampede as Aalenic guards, who were openly carrying swords, attempted to corral a riot of Inimican, Rimrothian, Duxburian, Inquistan and other upset audience members, who were sent into a frenzy by John Oliver, who hosted the EuroVoice competition.

    Members of the Coldwell family, as well a her friends, attribute her tragic passing to John Oliver, who instigated the riots by goading and provoking the audience into the frenzy. IBC President Farrah Rio immediately called for Aalen to be banned from the next EuroVoice contest and requested that Peter Montfort resign, as he allowed John Oliver to host the contest. In the end, Montfort did not resign from his position, but Aalen was successfully banned from entering in the next EV contest.

    Until this evening, Montfort never fully addressed Coldwell's death. For many Inquistans, her death is a painful memory and association of what is otherwise supposed to be a light-hearted and joyous competition. Despite this, the incident always seemed to be a non-issue to Montfort. Even as he momentarily addressed the incident in his resignation speech, he never fully apologized or took ownership of the incident, and instead referred to it simply as a regret. For many Inquistans, a simple apology or a simple recognition of his lack of oversight on the issue could have set the stage for a long process to heal and unify after Coldwell's death, but it never happened. Montfort could never muster enough courage or leadership to take ownership of the disaster, and he could never muster enough energy do the bare minimum.

    Now, unfortunately, he's allowed for these old wounds to re-open as Oliver stormed the stage, blurted out conspiracy theories about Coldwell, and viciously attacked Inquista and Icholasen. Montfort stood paralyzed as Oliver delivered a hate-filled monologue that degraded a deceased young girl and two countries of the European Union. Oliver was eventually dragged from the stage, not after calling Montfort his "friend", before then beings savagely beaten by guards in the background.

    This latest incident has been widely condemned by audiences throughout Inquista, who are embarrassed to see this strange incident unfold tonight. Montfort, in particular, has also received further personal condemnation for allowing this to happen. It is then without surprise, that many Inqusitans are also happy to see him resign this evening. Among those who are happy to see him resign are several Inqusitan EV artists, as well as IBC Preisdent Farrah Rio, who have also had other gripes with the EV Director, particularly when it comes to addressing race.

    During Montfort's directorship, which has spanned most of EuroVoice history, there has only ever been one black winner under his entire tenure: Inquista's own Kane Brown. Since his historic win, Brown has played an active voice in lobbying for people of colour to be better represented in EV, which he has described as "a very white contest, where people of colour are not represented, and they often don't do very well". As President of IBC, Farrah Rio plays an integral role in shaping the selection process of Inquista's EV entries. Rio has always made it her mission to platform and represent members of Inquista's black community, and as such, Inquista has sent many black artists to the competition. "Inquista alone has probably entered about 2/3 of all black artists into EV," Rio admitted. "Inquista is the only country which has been consistent and unafraid to platform a diverse array of artists, and unfortunately, we're pretty much alone on the matter."

    Inquista typically does pretty well in EuroVoice, with an average finish of around 3rd place. However, despite sending many black artists under Montfort's directorship, only Kane Brown and Lizzo have has been able to reach or better this average for Inquista. Many highly respected and talented legends, such as Rebecca Ferguson, Janelle Monáe, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, as well as up-and-coming superstars such Megan Thee Stallion performed poorly in EV, despite having significant reverence in the Inquistan artistic community, which, again, typically does very well in EV. Thus, racism has been ingrained in EV. Due to the poor competition placements for black artists, countries are more likely to be afraid to enter or represent people of colour.

    Hopefully the next EV Director will be able recognize and address these systemic and lingering issues of racism and racial representation, and hopefully they will be able to take better ownership of any tragedies that might happen. Whoever it will be, they will have a lot of mess to clean up, and they will have a disastrous legacy to overcome.

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    Inquista Adopts A Minimum Wage Amid Strong Economic Growth in Q2

    July 4, 2020

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    A minimum wage of ł20 will take effect starting in August

    The College of Bishops has passed legislation which has, for the first time, established a minimum wage in the country. A minimum wage of ł20 per hour has been established, and will take effect across all economic sectors starting in August. The announcement of Inquista's minimum wage comes a few days after EU-wide economic data was released for the second quarter of the year, which showed continued strong economic growth for Inquista. The Treasury Secretariat has also released data which has shown that the country's unemployment rate has fallen from 3.7% to 3.5% in the second quarter, which is the lowest unemployment rate in Inquista since the early 2000's. The Inquisto continues to hold strong, as the second most valuable currency in the European Union, currently trading better than both the Duxburian Kael and the Angleteric Pound.

    The Archbishop announced that it was "about time" for Inquista to adopt a minimum wage, and that "a ł20 minimum wage will help alleviate a great burden and stress placed on the shoulders of Inquista's most vulnerable and hardest working people". According to statistics of Inquista's Treasury Secretariat, only 1.7% of working Inquistans currently earn less than the new minimum wage. Inquista, which boasts an average salary of €82,767 - which is two to three times larger than average salaries in Europe's other most developed economies - has long eschewed a national minimum wage. Bishop Secretary of the Treasury and Economy, Silas Kligenberg, who is widely seen as a staunch champion of Inquista's business community, assured Inquistans that "small and medium businesses across Saint Dominico have been consulted on a minimum wage", and that he found "agreement across Inquista's business communities in support for a livable, working minimum wage."

    The 1.7% of working Inquistans who are expected to benefit from this minimum wage are mostly young adults and recent immigrants, but also includes some unskilled working adults. While Inquista maintains an enormously powerful economy and high working wages, it also has a very high standard of living and skyrocketing housing prices which would otherwise make it impossible to live on less than €29,000 per year. Bishop Secretary Silas Kligenberg has stated that while he is very encouraged by Inquista's economic performance in the second quarter of the year, he is still determined to combat Inquista's other economic ailments, such as housing and rental prices. "Saint Dominico is Europe's biggest and best city, and so we have to become strategic about how we can make sure that it remains economically viable for absolutely all people."

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    Silas Kligenberg Eyes Ievonuia Drug in Eastern Haane as His New Drug Empire Blossoms

    July 4, 2020

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    Silas Kligenberg has capitalized on recent drug legalizations in Inquista

    Following legislation which legalized cannabis and certain psychedelic drugs in Inquista, Bishop Secretary Silas Kligenberg quickly capitalized on the opportunity to expand his business portfolio to include businesses in the newly legalized recreational drug sectors. Kligenberg Industries has not only committed itself to opening dozens of cannabis and other recreational drug-related storefronts, but it has also entered itself into the entire drug supply chain, including the growing and harvesting of cannabis and mushrooms, as well as the manufacturing and synthesis of designer psychedelic drugs. Inquista’s entire recreational drug industry is expected to produce ł175 million in retail sales by the end of 2020. Kligenberg Industries is aiming to capture at least 23% of these retail profits.

    In order to boost sales, Silas Kligenberg is now looking to sell the ievonuia drug located in Eastern Haane, which has made news headlines for the power of its psychedelic effects. The drug is known to cause intense hallucinations when consumed in concentrated amounts, which recently resulted in a Haanian man going on a killing spree. The ievonuia drug has not yet been approved by the Inquistan Drug Enforcement Control, who have been unable to obtain the drug for testing, but Bishop Secretary Kligenberg remains optimistic about the drug and its potential sales in Inquista. “This drug is absolutely nuts, and we need to have our hands on it as soon as we can,” he commented.

    Bishop Secretary Kligenberg then publicly propositioned the government of Eastern Haane on his Instagram Live. “It would be a great businesses opportunity for the government of Eastern Haane to allow Kligenberg Industries to begin the commercial cultivation of ievonuia. The ievonuia drug would sell right off the walls, and we could make hundreds of millions off it alone! The government of Eastern Haane would be compensated with commercial royalties, which would greatly help develop the economy of the country. This would be such a win-win opportunity.”

    Later, when asked about the natives in the area surrounding Essen Castle, who would likely oppose such a scheme, Bishop Secretary Kligenberg took to his Twitch account to state that he would “be happy to do the government’s dirty work”, and that he would “help foster the relocation of the natives” to “another really poor, undeveloped, and equally crazy place, like Malborya.”

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